Electronic cigarettes: labels are not to be trusted - Test results unveiled by the Canadian Cancer Society

23 January 2014

Montreal -

According to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) – Quebec Division, the labelling on liquid refills for electronic cigarettes is unreliable. As part of the Quebec Tobacco-Free Week, the CCS has released a second batch of results from tests it commissioned on e-liquids[1] from the Université de Montréal’s Regional Centre for Mass Spectrometry. For all “with nicotine” e-liquids tested, the amount of nicotine found did not match what was displayed on the package. Even more worrying is that nicotine was detected in “nicotine-free” e-liquids.


Nicotine labelling for 7 e-liquids



Misleading label

With nicotine



After Eight


Oak Wood


Zen Garden






X *


X *

Lab tests carried out by the Université de Montréal’s Regional Centre for Mass Spectrometry. Report dated April 23, 2013.

*Nicotine content not declared


“More and more youths and smokers are getting into electronic cigarettes. And it’s now child’s play to buy e-liquid refills containing nicotine on the Internet or at a store. The CCS is worried because nicotine is a toxic substance that is highly addictive and the product labelling is inaccurate in all cases. Clearly, at present, we can’t go by what’s on the labels,” says Sylvie Poissant, Acting Executive Director, CCS – Quebec Division.  


The CCS wants the authorities to act without delay and regulate these new products, especially since they’re becoming such a fad with youths.  The CCS wants the government to include a provision to regulate electronic cigarettes in the Tobacco Act to:

•Ban their sale to minors

•Control their advertising/promotion

•Regulate product ingredients and emissions

•Ban electronic cigarettes from being smoked in public places where tobacco is not allowed

[1] E-liquids containing nicotine are used to refill electronic cigarette cartridges.

Every day, the Canadian Cancer Society works to save more lives. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research, and support people touched by the disease. For 75 years, our goal has remained unchanged: do more so that fewer of us have to face cancer and more survive. Let’s save more lives: visit cancer.ca or call our Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.



André Beaulieu

Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Communications

Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division


Phone: (514) 393-3444



Geneviève Berteau

Health Policy Analyst

Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division


Phone: (514) 255-5151